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COVID-19: Japan Gives UNICEF $39m For Nigeria’s Vaccine Cold Chains.

THE Japanese Government has announced that it will provide approximately US$39 million in emergency funds to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) for the development of vaccine cold chains in Nigeria and 31 countries in Africa and Latin America affected by the COVID-19.

A statement signed on Monday, 14th of June, 2021 by Dr. Geoffrey Njoku, Communications Specialist, UNICEF Nigeria, said, “With these funds, UNICEF will work with the government to provide cold chain equipment in priority storage sites based on gap analyses to improve storage capacity for vaccines and facilitate monitoring of the vaccine potency.

"A walk-in freezer room will be installed in each of the selected six states. This includes solar vaccine refrigerators to be installed in 175 wards that have a gap in vaccine storage capacity. Temperature monitoring devices will be installed across 18 States cold stores, and technical assistance will be provided to carry out the setting up and maintenance of the equipment and devices. These supplies will ensure the quality of the vaccines".

Meanwhile, the Officer in Charge of the UNICEF Nigeria representative, Mr Rushnan Murtaza had said: “We welcome the generous support of the Government and the people of Japan to Nigeria, as we continue to grapple with the impact of COVID-19.

"These funds will allow us to more effectively implement the strategy to ensure as many Nigerians as possible receive COVID-19 vaccinations and ensuring the timeliness and efficacy of the vaccines, so that we can work towards a better future for all.

"UNICEF will continue to work with the Government of Nigeria, Government of Japan and other partners to support the COVID-19 response and to deliver positive outcomes for child survival and promote equitable access to vaccines for all.”

UNICEF has played a central role in supporting the procurement, transportation, and storage of COVID-19 vaccines to Nigeria and other countries, taking advantage of its long-standing vaccine procurement, storage, and transportation experience, as well as its existing immunization infrastructure.